Predicting the Chargers vs. the Redskins
The Chargers travel to Washington DC this week with an early AM battle against the Redskins. San Diego is coming off a bye week, so the media attention has been a little quite this week. Whereas the Redskins primary media topic this week seems to be more about their politically incorrect teams name vs. their actual poor play (and their 2-5 record). Imagine the Redskins changing their name to the “Bravehearts” and visualize the cute logos that come with a name that has a HEART in it…
Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is gradually improving every week since last season’s major knee surgery. RGIII’s season stats look good on paper and in the FF box score, but in reality he is not carrying his team like he did last year. Control RGIII, control the game, but the Redskins are a scheme oriented team, with Mike Shanahan’s football methodology. Shanahan relies heavy on a quality mobile quarterback and if RGIII’s mobility is limited (or if he gets knocked down and gets rattled), Griffin can get scared, guard his bad knee and psyche himself out. Shanahan’s other main offensive focus is the zone blocking scheme. Running backs Alfred Morris and Roy Helu will be the other offensive threats.
San Diego needs to stuff the run first with the defensive line and inside linebackers. Expect a big game from Chargers Linebackers Manti Te’o, Jarret Johnson & Reggie Walker in containing the Redskins run game, as Donald Butler will probably sit out this week. If Cam Thomas can contribute well this week, San Diego’s defense will continue to thrive for the 4th consecutive weeks. The Chargers D needs to apply pass rush on RGIII, so Corey Luiget, Kendell Reyes and Larry English need to bring the pressure. Look for OLB Thomas Keiser to surprise the Redskins QB a few times.
The Chargers offense has been the biggest surprise of the NFL this year. SD is back to their normal offensive standards: scoring a lot of points and controlling the clock. Ryan Matthews could have his 3rd consecutive 100 yard game, and Phillip Rivers will carry the offense as usual. TE Antonio Gates will be Rivers primary target, so expect a huge game from Gates. Gates will be on the lookout for headhunter safety Brandon Meriwether. With Gates in longer passing routes, Gates can take Meriwether out of the game and capitalize on Meriwether’s over-aggressiveness. A fun rookie matchup to watch this week will be SD’s wide receiver Keneen Allen vs. Redskins cornerback David Amerson (both from the same hometown in NC, similar sizes and childhood friends). If Amerson starts and mirrors Allen this week, then the Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall will be on Vincent Brown, which might be a quite matchup. Plus the OT Fluker + Dunlap vs. OLB Orakpo + Kerrigan could actually favor San Diego (but will be a tough task).
). The Chargers defense has not allowed a touchdown in the last 11 consecutive quarters, and it could continue. Prediction: San Diego, 27 – 19